Courses & Units

Legal Theory LAW261


Legal theory asks students to think about a range of broader questions about law itself. Those questions may relate to the nature of law and what it means to study or practise law, and what professors do when they study law. Other important questions are about how law relates to other ideas like morality, power, judgment and justice, or institutions like parliament, the ‘people’ and government. Still others relate to major schools of legal thought: positivism, natural law, realism and critical legal theory. This unit explores these topics through a range of readings, classroom discussions and written and oral assessment tasks. It aims to give students a deeper appreciation of the complexities of law, its justifications, how it has changed over time, and how it may change into the future. These are invaluable skills for students, practitioners, judges and scholars alike.


Unit name Legal Theory
Unit code LAW261
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law
Coordinator Doctor Yvette Maker
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Describe, understand and critically reflect upon the key debates about the formation and operation of law
  • Describe, understand and critically reflect upon major theories of law
  • Critically apply theories of law in analysing legal policy issues in the modern context
  • Prepare and present cogent arguments regarding the theoretical basis of law orally and in writing

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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50 credit points of Introductory Law core or (LAW121 and LAW122)

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

Off campus:

Weekly Online Lecture (pre-recorded short video) (1 hour)

On campus (Hobart):

Weekly Seminar (2 hours)

AssessmentPodcast (20%)|Reading Diary (30%)|Critical Writing Task (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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